Founded in 1996, the big kahuna in the city of North Miami anchors its main downtown drag, NE 125th Street, once tipped as South Florida’s next hot urban center, complete with slick marketing moniker (NoMi, of course). Well, that never gelled, but if you happen to be in the area (for example at the ginormous Aventura Mall), MoCA is worth a look. It’s quite small for a major museum—some 12,000 square feet—but it does boast a well-curated collection of today’s art scene, even if you’d need to be a real maven to recognize most of the names, besides maybe Louise Nevelson, Julian Schnabel, and Nam June Paik. It’s one of the few U.S. contemporary art museums that collects, as opposed to mostly hosting rotating shows, and it also schedule parties, concerts, lectures, and other events. Check the website, though, because as of 2014 MoCa’s finances and administration were in a rough patch, and there was even talk of merging with the Bass Museum. In any case, when you do visit, pop across the street afterward for a bite/cuppa/something stronger at hipster hangout Luna Star Cafe.
- David Paul Appell